PhotoNight is cranking up for the new school year and will feature our newest photojournalism faculty member, Chad A. Stevens. The event is Thursday, 9/3, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in room 33 Carroll Hall.
In the past five years, Chad A. Stevens has been a nomadic photographer and multimedia producer in Africa, a multimedia producer at MediaStorm, taught at Western Kentucky University and the International Center of Photography, studied as a Master’s candidate at Ohio University, worked on a documentary film about energy in Appalachia, and is now a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Stevens’ work has earned recognition in the Pictures of the Year International and NPPA Best of Photojournalism competitions, The Emmy Awards, and The Webby Awards. He has lived and traveled abroad and produced multimedia for several NGO’s. While teaching at Western Kentucky University, Stevens created an annual documentary photography workshop, the Appalachian Cultural Project, and won the University Faculty Award for Public Service in 2006. Prior to all this, he worked as a staff photographer for the Kalamazoo Gazette and was named 1997 College Photographer of the Year.
Come see what the buzz is about and why we are so excited to have Chad join our faculty! We will begin with some short presentations of student work from the summer, including various multimedia projects, and Chad will start at 7:30. There will be light refreshments. Come and help us welcome Chad into our community!
UNC NEWS SERVICES (Chapel Hill, N.C.) The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has launched an experimental multimedia news Web site that explores U.S. energy use and its relationship to the country’s demographics.
“Powering a Nation” (www.poweringanation.org) is Carolina’s contribution to the News21 project led by eight of the 12 top journalism programs participating in the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education funded by the Carnegie Corp. of New York and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in Miami, Fla.
Ten Carolina journalism students selected as News21 fellows have been working since January with faculty – joined by two students from Harvard University and the University of Missouri – to produce stories about wind farms, the electrical grid, mountaintop removal, coal activists, biofuels, religious response to environmental issues and other topics.
The project includes interviews with Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”; a Michigan pastor who organizes collaboration between scientists and evangelicals; coal miners and coal activists in Ohio; and families facing energy obstacles. It also features a host of guest editorials by prominent thinkers, including Sen. John Kerry.
The stories are presented as feature articles, multimedia documentaries, motion graphics, blog posts and games. An interactive energy challenge game allows users to track their energy use and get personalized tips for conservation. Users can compare their energy profiles with others by using online social networks.
Students also are blogging and using a Twitter feed to document the process of the project and to reach targeted audiences for their stories.
“We want to provide transparency in the journalistic process as the stories unfold,” said News21 fellow Courtney Woo. “We invite our audiences to comment and engage with us as we tackle the complicated issues surrounding what it takes to power a nation.”
News21 is short for News for the 21st Century: Incubators of New Ideas, an effort to advance the U.S. news business by helping revitalize journalism schools and creating a stronger voice for them in the news industry. The project’s goal is to attract new and younger audiences with innovative reporting on issues.
“Changing demographics and energy use is a critical issue in North Carolina and the nation,” said Jean Folkerts, dean of the school. “And it is a topic through which we can showcase the innovative journalistic techniques we’re teaching at the school. I think we distinguish ourselves at Carolina by preparing our students to complete all aspects of this kind of project, including the advanced levels of design and programming required for interactivity and audience participation in the site.
“The project has an enormous impact on the school. Students and faculty who are specialists in broadcast, digital media, print and photography are working together in a single newsroom to focus on a serious issue for the country,” Folkerts said. “We welcome mainstream media to use the content, or build on it, to deliver important energy information to a larger population.”
Eight of the News21 fellows graduated this spring or summer. New fellows will be chosen in the fall to expand on the “Powering a Nation” concept, and students in a marketing course will design marketing plans to be implemented next year. Carolina will host incubators through 2011.
The school, which this year is launching a new curriculum that takes into account significant changes in the media industry, will expand on this collaborative approach in the fall semester with students and faculty in various classes working together to produce a news Web site.